Haiti: Current Processing Timeframes for Hague Adoptions

Last Updated: July 27, 2023

This notice provides updated information on current processing times in Haiti for various steps in the intercountry adoption process. The Adoptions Unit at the U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince and the Office of Children’s Issues have received numerous inquiries about the current security situation in Haiti. We recognize that prospective adoptive parents are particularly concerned about lengthy processing times. The Embassy engages regularly with the government of Haiti, including the Haitian Central Adoption Authority, L'Institut du Bien-Etre Social et de Recherches (IBESR), regarding U.S. citizens pursuing adoptions in Haiti, and will continue to do so at every possible opportunity. The Department of State, Office of Children’s Issues and U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince also wish to remind prospective adoptive parents and adoption service providers to review Haiti’s Travel Advisory and Country Information Page for current information on the security situation in Haiti. Haiti’s current Travel Advisory is Level 4; Do Not Travel, due to kidnapping, crime, civil unrest, and poor health care infrastructure.

Intercountry adoptions in Haiti currently take on average four (4) years to complete and can take as long as seven (7) years. This includes the entire Hague intercountry adoption process from submission of the I800A to USCIS, awaiting a proposed match from IBESR, up to and including both U.S. visa issuance by U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince and exit letter issuance by IBESR.

Known timeframes in the adoption process are:

  • Match Proposal: two (2) to three (3) years for qualifying prospective adoptive parents to receive a proposed match from IBESR, although there is no specified or required timeframe in which IBESR must make a match.
  • Match Acceptance: prospective adoptive parents are allowed up to 15 days to decide whether to accept or refuse a proposed match.
  • Familiarization Period: 15 days (or more).
  • Socialization Report: four (4) to six (6) months for IBESR to complete the socialization report after the familiarization period is completed.
  • Adoption Authorization: four (4) to six (6) months for IBESR to issue the authorization to adopt (autorisation d’adoption) after the U.S. embassy issued the Article 5/17 letter.
  • Court Processes: three (3) to four (4) months for court processes up to and including the adoption decree.
  • Court Appeal Period: mandatory 30-day appeal period after an adoption is granted in the Tribunal of First Instance.
  • Adoption Decree Legalizations: one (1) to three (3) months.
  • Certificate of Conformity: IBESR has 10 business days to review a request for a certificate of conformity (certificate de conformité) and potentially issue the certificate.
  • Haitian Passport: three (3) to five (5) months.
  • Exit Letter: one (1) to three (3) business days.

Intercountry adoptions in Hague Convention countries must be completed in accordance with U.S. laws and regulations, Convention procedures, and the laws of the country of origin. Each of the processes listed above are required by either Haitian and/or U.S. law and cannot be waived. We also wish to remind you that adoptive parents, adoption service providers, and other individuals are prohibited from moving children from the crèches or orphanages in which they were residing before the match is made by IBESR and until after the exit letter is issued by IBESR at the end of the Convention adoption process (after the U.S. Embassy issues an immigrant visa).

Please keep these timeframes in mind with the understanding that they may continue to fluctuate with changes in the security situation. U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince will continue to monitor processing times to identify bottlenecks and engage with the government of Haiti for advancement.  Should adoption service providers or adoptive families have any questions or concerns, please email the Office of Children’s Issues at Adoption@state.gov or the U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince’s Adoption Unit at PaPadoptions@state.gov.